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what water to drink?

Water is essential to life, and choosing the right water to drink is an important decision for our health and our environment. With a multitude of options available, from tap water to bottled water to filtered water, it can be difficult to decide which is the best option...



POLLUTANTS IN OUR TAP WATER


We are not all equal when it comes to the quality of the water flowing from our taps...


The fact that the quality of tap water varies from region to region is a matter of growing concern. In France, recent studies have highlighted the presence of contaminants such as perfluoroalkylates and polyfluoroalkylates (PFAS), pesticide residues and the solvent 1,4-dioxane in drinking water in certain regions. These substances, classified as potentially hazardous to health, can have harmful effects on the immune system, reproductive health and the liver.


The situation varies considerably from one region to another, with cases of contamination reported mainly in the south of Lyon, Haute-Savoie and Hérault. These findings underline the importance of rigorous monitoring of water quality and the implementation of protective measures for consumers.


Health authorities and regulatory bodies are working to assess the extent of contamination and to tighten water quality standards. This includes the adoption of new laws to restrict the manufacture and marketing of products containing PFAS. In addition, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has set maximum thresholds for certain contaminants, and countries such as Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Canada have adopted these standards.




The sometimes unpleasant taste of water can be attributed to the presence of chlorine, which is used to disinfect water and eliminate pathogenic micro-organisms. Although chlorine plays a crucial role in preventing water-borne diseases, it can alter the taste of water. Fortunately, there are simple solutions for improving the taste of tap water, such as using filter carafes or installing activated carbon filters.


In addition, water hardness, often due to a high concentration of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, can also affect its perceived quality. Although hard water is not harmful to health, it can cause inconveniences such as limescale deposits on crockery and household appliances. Ceramic beads or charcoal sticks placed in your kettles or other containers can treat this problem.


It's important to note that if you have any concerns about the quality of tap water in your area, there are resources available for consulting the results of sanitary water control analyses. This information can help you understand the quality of the water you drink and take action if necessary.



BOTTLED-WATER SCANDAL


Recently, a scandal broke over the quality of bottled water distributed in France. Reports have revealed possible contamination of branded water, raising questions about purification processes and the transparency of information provided to consumers.


An expert report revealed that some bottled water could be contaminated with bacteria, pesticides and microplastics, prompting a wave of concern among the public and health authorities. In response to these concerns, the French Senate launched a parliamentary mission to investigate the allegations of contamination.


Journalistic investigations have also revealed that purification treatments prohibited by French regulations have allegedly been used by certain bottled water producers, including the giant Nestlé, calling into question the compliance of their products with public health standards.





HOW TO FILTER WATER AT HOME?


Filtering water at home is an increasingly common practice for those looking to improve the quality of their drinking water. Whether for reasons of taste, health or the environment, there are several methods you can adopt to filter your water.


The simplest and most accessible method is boiling. Boiling the water for at least a minute can eliminate the majority of pathogens. If you live at an altitude above 2,000 metres, it is recommended that you extend the boiling time to three minutes.


Tap water filters are another popular option. They are easy to install and can significantly reduce the presence of chlorine, lead and other contaminants. Some models even allow you to choose from different types of filter cartridges to suit your specific needs.



For those who prefer a no-installation solution, filter carafes are a practical alternative. They use activated carbon to absorb impurities and improve the taste of the water. However, they require regular filter replacement to maintain their effectiveness.


More advanced filtration systems, such as reverse osmosis systems, offer a higher level of purification. These systems can remove a wide range of contaminants, including dissolved minerals and bacteria, but they require professional installation and more rigorous maintenance.


Finally, there are natural purification methods, such as the use of filter coals. These methods can be particularly useful in situations where traditional filtration systems are not available.


It is important to note that each filtration method has its own advantages and limitations. It is therefore essential to determine your specific water quality needs and choose the filtration method that is best for you.


And don't forget that regular maintenance of your filtration system is crucial to ensuring consistent water quality.


For more information on the different methods of filtering water at home and how to set them up, you can consult specialist resources that provide safety advice and detailed instructions.


On the other hand, bottled water is chosen by some for its taste or for specific health reasons. Although convenient, it raises significant environmental issues due to the production of plastic waste and the carbon footprint associated with its transport.


Home filtered water offers an alternative way of improving the taste of tap water and reducing potential contaminants. Filter jugs are a popular option, although they require regular maintenance to remain effective.

It's important to consider the environmental impact of our water consumption. Reducing the use of plastic bottles and opting for more sustainable solutions helps to protect our planet.


For more information on water quality in your area and the options available, consult local resources.


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